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As the year winds down, it’s time to look ahead and plan for the new one. With this in mind, I’ll be posting 5 articles this week for the ‘Plan your Blog’ series. Today is Day 1 and I am talking about a bullet journal for bloggers and why it’s important.
Being organised is the key to being productive. I found that once I started implementing the strategies I outline in this post, my blogging became more streamlined and so did my social media.
Do you need a bullet journal?
I’m a big planner junkie and that is true of stationery too. That said, let me be clear. Yes, you need a bullet journal. No, you don’t need a high-end fancy version to make this work.
A lot of bullet journals online will have beautiful doodles and drawings and are absolutely spectacular to view. For me, though, the functionality of the journal is more important than anything else.
For that same reason, I tell people starting off that they just need a simple notebook, preferably un-ruled, to use as their journal.
So, yes, if you’re a blogger, I highly recommend that you invest in a simple notebook and call it your bullet journal.
Why do you need a bullet journal for bloggers?
Until late this year, I had a single bullet journal for my work, home, blog and personal tasks. But the minute I set up a dedicated bullet journal for my blog, it made things so much easier and everything related to the blog is in one place. I am not scrambling through my notes, trying to find it.
Today, I’m sharing tips on how you can set up your bullet journal for your own blog, while keeping the vision for your blog in mind.
Setting up your Bullet Journal
Your Bullet journal is the key to creating an overall content strategy, marketing strategy and monetization strategy for your blog.
Open your brand-new journal. On the first page, title it ‘Index’ and list the following:
- Monthly Goals
- Weekly Goals
- Daily Goals
- Budget for the Blog
Add the page numbers against each item. At the end of the month, create a fresh index page and repeat the steps below.
Monthly Page Spread
Now that the bullet journal is ready to go, let’s begin with the first monthly spread. This is where you will be creating the vision for the month ahead.
- Open the first two-page spread
- Use the left page to broadly describe what you will focus on
- Use the right page to note down specific focus items.
- Once complete, tick off or cross off the completed tasks
Here are the key questions to ask yourself when creating your vision:
- What am I going to blog about?
- How can I make this interesting?
- How much content can I manage to create?
- What niche/topics do I want to focus on this month?
Answering these questions will give you a clear idea on how to plan your month for the blog.
For example, my vision for the month of January is growth. I’d like to grow my blog, my subscribers and my client base. So what would I need to do to make it happen?
Accordingly, I will work on the following:
- An Editorial Calendar
- Stats Tracker for my Blog and Social Media channels
- Social Media Calendar (For Twitter/Instagram/Facebook/Pinterest)
- Courses to Study (Based on my theme of the month: Growth)
- Fixing Old Posts
- Approximate time I can devote to the above per day and thus, per month.
Weekly Page Spread
Now that your vision is ready and your editorial calendar is ready, let’s get to the next step: the weekly plan.
Every month has 4 weeks, so set up 4 pages, one dedicated to each week.
I want you to visualise a funnel, going from the broad to the specific. Our monthly journal was a set of broad goals. We’re now breaking it down into weekly chunks, narrowing it down, so to speak.
How many of those goals can you manage to achieve each week is the question you should ask yourself.
As you can tell from the image above, I’ve not just mentioned posts. I’ve said ‘Two posts per week’. You can decide the number that makes you comfortable. Which days should you devote to writing on your blog? Again, that depends on your schedule.
Figure out how much time you take to put together a blog post. Then study your week to pick your best days for content creation.
Similarly, instead of just ‘social media’, I’ve specified Twitter as the platform for the week. So I will schedule content out for that channel accordingly.
Daily Page Checklist
We’re at the end of the funnel and as specific as we can get now. Take the content from your monthly and weekly pages and filter them to get your daily list.
On Instagram the other day I mentioned that the reason most of us don’t get things done is because we put too many things on our checklist for the same day.
Instead, if you could keep it simple, things become a completely different ball game.
See the image above? I have listed exactly 4 tasks for the day. Of those 4, the first 3 are the most important. That means if I don’t get time to fix the SEO of an old post, I will move that task to the next day.
Since I won’t be publishing a blog post daily (except for this particular week, of course), I won’t have that task on my agenda for the next day. Instead, I can substitute it with ‘Engage with my audience’ or ‘Visit other blogs’ or ‘Study my blog analytics’.
Budget and Reports
At the end of the month, have a dedicated page to track your budget for the month gone by.
For a comprehensive understanding of how to plan your budget for your blog, read this tutorial: How to plan a budget for your blog.
Next, create a reports page on your blog and social media channels’ performance and look for areas that can use improvement.
Create a fool-proof Social Media strategy for your blog using these 10 simple steps.
Now that you’ve read the post, here’s what you can work on.
Task for you:
- Buy a journal/ notebook/ bullet journal this week.
- Create your monthly goals for the following month.
- Chalk out what needs to be done to move your blog towards those goals
- List out weekly action steps
- Draft a daily checklist for the first week.
- Plan your blog budget for the following month.
That was the first post in the ‘Plan your Blog’ Series. Let me know if you found it useful. I love feedback and work on it for all my content, future and past.
Don’t forget to come back tomorrow to check out the next post in the series: How to Set Up or improve your Blog for Success
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